PGH 48HFP 2017: Filmmaking Lessons

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It’s that time of year again! Josh and I get to take a break, gather up our friends, and make a crazy, weird movie in 48 hours as part of the 48 Hour Film Project, right here in Pittsburgh!

Lessons Learned in 2015

In 2015, we wrote a whole blog post about lessons we learned. To help prep for this year, let’s recap:

  1. Friends (and husbands) make the best creative partners. Who cares if you’ve never acted before? Let’s just have fun, and see what awesome new filmmaking skills we can learn together.
  2. Write a script, so you make sure your story goes where it is supposed to, but let the improv bug get you too. Some of the funniest stuff comes out when characters just start riffing off of each other.
  3. Make yourself laugh. Not everybody appreciates the same humor, but if you find it funny, chances are someone else will, too. And who doesn’t love to laugh?

Voila, with those lessons, we created the Mountain Dew-fueled Fish Out of Water film: Of Vice and Men.

Lessons Learned in 2016

Last year, we learned a few more things.

  1. Go big or go home. We may have gone a little overboard last year. Every idea we had, we dialed it up to 11, and then quadrupled it. The end result: a ridiculous comedy paying tribute to Rocky, Rambo, and every uber-American Cold War infused eighties movie. It was awesome, ridiculous, and so much fun to film.
  2. Wear sunscreen. If you’re filming in Schenley Park, and the takes pile up because it’s really hard to pronounce Russian words accurately, the sun’s going to start burning you. Protect your skin – spray on the block if you’re going to be outside in the sun. Also, always have water. And extra Code Red.
  3. Just do it. We almost nixed filming what ended up being our opening shot because we didn’t have time to set up before the sun went down. Thankfully, we decided to just go for it anyway. We ran around each other making sure our cars, gear, and the rest of the team stayed out of the shots, and we got in every line and shot we needed just as the sun disappeared. To be honest, that might be my favorite scene. And not just because of my terrible BBC impersonation in the background.

Without further ado, our War/Anti-War film: Melting Point.


Here’s hoping we remember all of this advice, and create a big, over-the-top, scripted improv comedy, while staying semi-hydrated.